Landscaping for Wildlife

Plants draw different kinds of wildlife, different species of birds, butterflies and chipmunks to name a few. You must choose what kind of animals you want to attract to your home.

The first thing that the person must realize is that there are four basic things that are needed for wildlife to exist. Trees provide saps or seeds as a source of food for birds. For other creatures that frequent the area, you can accommodate them by having feeders installed in the garden or yard. To know the right type of food to place in the feeder, you should research what the animals eat.

All creatures need water to survive. A pond or fountain in the garden can provide sustenance for those who frequent your garden. Just be sure that the water is clean and safe at all times for the animals to drink.

Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you’re fully informed about landscaping for wildlife, keep reading.

Animals need a good place to serve as a shelter, nesting and breeding ground. You can make a bird house or purchase one. They are available in many shapes and forms which are good for birds and bats. Once this has been made or purchased, it can be installed in the backyard.

Trees planted in the garden can also serve as shelter and housing for creatures that live near your home. A good example is an evergreen tree that serves as protection against predators.

Studies have shown that the use of plants that are not natural to the area destroys plants that are native. Since the creatures that you want around all year are native to the surroundings, it is advisable to use plants that these animals are accustomed to. That way, different creatures will be able to co-exist.

By focusing on these four factors, you will be able to enjoy the diverse wildlife not just visiting but already living in your area.

After the planning and construction phase of the project has been done, you will be able to enjoy the various species of birds, squirrels and other creatures that are native to your geographical area.

Teakwood Garden Furniture

Indonesian teak garden furniture is a great place to start for your outdoor improvement project. Dining tables with matching chairs are very useful additions to your patio. Once you decide on the size of your table you can choose chairs with or without brass hardware. Brass is used in the construction of folding teak chairs because it will never rust. This makes the chairs easier to recline, fold and unfold, and can also help create a more intricate design. Teakwood chairs can also be made without hardware and they are just as durable. Teak patio furniture is the best investment for your outdoor garden and living space.

Teakwood is very simple to care for because the high oil content of the wood makes it very resistant to the elements and many owners leave their furniture outdoors all year. Teak oil can be used once a month to retain its luster and you can find it at your local home improvement center at minimal cost. It can be applied with a soft cloth and rubbed into the wood to produce a natural shine. You should oil your teakwood if it is outside on a regular basis to keep the nice light brown color. But, if you choose not perform a monthly application to your teakwood it will still retain is strong structure. Teakwood that is not maintained with teak oil will turn a beautiful silvery gray giving it a more rustic appeal. Furniture that is kept indoors and is oiled a few times a year will maintain a light brown color.

The tight grain and high oil content of teakwood make it resistant to the forces of Nature that can destroy other outdoor furniture. It can withstand wind, rain, and sunlight without warping, shrinking or rotting. Lawn furniture can make a dramatic improvement to your outdoor space when choosing furniture made from teak wood. You may start off with a simple teak garden bench and then add to your outdoor collection when both you and your budget are ready. But whatever you choose for your teak garden furniture it will be an investment that will last you a lifetime.

Versatile Garden Arbors

People sometimes use the terms arbor and pergola interchangeably, because they refer to very similar structures. An arbor typically includes a seat under the arch, while a pergola is more of a covered walkway. Whatever word you use, any garden decor store will know what you mean.

Arbors and pergolas serve a number of useful functions in the yard or garden. A striking garden arbor can provide a focal point in your landscaping, drawing the eye in that direction. Similarly, it can be used to visually separate or connect parts of your property.

Arbors are often used as support for growing plants and vines. Although you don’t have to grow plants on your arbor, flowering vines that gently cascade over the structure add wonderful color and life to this bit of garden decor. Landscaping looks best when it contains plants, flowers, and grasses at a variety of heights, and the arbor can create a sense of height and visual interest to achieve a more balanced scene.

A strategically placed arbor can hide an unsightly view like the garage next door. Or it can give you a little privacy from your neighbors’ eyes. Most of all, an arbor or pergola offers a attractive, restful spot for you to sit and enjoy nature’s sweetness.

Wood, metal, and vinyl are the most common materials for garden arbors. Each material has its own personality.

  • Wooden arbors, usually made from cedar, are traditional and natural-looking, blending in with nature’s bounty. They inspire a sense of nostalgia and remind us of a simpler time.
  • Metal arbors are sturdy but can appear delicate and airy. Shaped in intricate designs, some metal arbors are works of art in themselves.
  • Vinyl arbors have a fresh, clean look that many homeowners find appealing. This type of arbor will give you the appearance of newly painted wood, but without the effort. A vinyl arbor is sometimes used as a charming backdrop for an outdoor garden wedding.

For someone experience in building things, an arbor will take several hours to set up. If you don’t have the time or prefer not to do it yourself, you can buy the kit and hire a local handyperson to put it up for you.

If you want to grow plants around your arbor, you have many kinds to choose from. Some lovely flowering vine varieties are annuals that will have to be replanted each year. Perennials growing over your arbor will need to be trimmed occasionally.

Colorful climbing roses are a popular choice for arbors, because many are fragrant and have repeat blooms from spring through the summer. Morning glories are another favorite. These plants have large bell-like flowers that can be found in almost any color, from white to pink to blue to purple.

Sprinkler for a Small Lawn

Lawn sprinkler system is the most efficient and time saving method available to irrigate lawns. A lawn sprinkler system saves you the ordeal of hosing the entire lawn by implementing hassle-free watering of lawns. You can easily install a sprinkler system yourself that will allow you to save time and money on watering your lawn. Lawn sprinkler systems give you an attractive green lawn that you can be proud of, with very little effort. Not only does the lawn sprinkler system save you but it also saves a lot of water. With growing awareness of water conservation, particularly in dry climate areas, excellent irrigation systems can help in maintaining our precious environment by not using much water at all. A well designed and carefully maintained lawn sprinkler system makes lawn maintenance effortless, and with an automatic lawn sprinkler system, you just have to turn the water on and forget the rest. The sprinkler will irrigate your lawn completely without your assistance on a timer similar to the timer on your alarm clock. Lawn sprinkler systems can even be adjusted for the amount of water to be sprinkled depending on the season so as to retain the right level of moisture in the soil. So with a small lawn, you must consider this so that you are not putting too much water on your lawn.

Lawn sprinklers are measured in Gallons Per Minute (GPM) so you need to be careful when making your adjustments. If you have a sprinkler system for a small lawn, you need to adjust your system for that lawn. Today there is a range of lawn sprinklers available, with different features, and there are several types of portable sprinklers, and each type is best suited to certain lawn shapes and landscape configurations. You need the best information that you can find in order to get the right system for you needs.

Choosing Plants in Soft Landscaping

Creative soft landscaping can breathe life to a garden and gives the garden its unique ambiance. Because it is the main component in any garden, the collection of plants that will be used in a garden must be selected with care.

The biggest concern in soft landscaping is the nature of the vegetation itself. It is the gardener’s worst nightmare to see that the decorative flowers and herbs he planted a week before has begun to wilt.

To avoid this problem, one should choose the plants carefully. Usually, local fauna rather than exotic or countryside vegetation are best for large scale planting. They also require less maintenance since the plants have already adapted to the soil conditions in the area.

Since flowers are usually the main attraction of a garden, it is important to select a variety of annual flowers. These flowers complete their life cycle within one year. At the end of that year, the flowers die, allowing time to propagate and produce new, fresh flowers during the next season.

After the plants are chosen, garden cover usually comes next. Ground cover effectively utilizes garden space. Usually, ground cover is ornamental grass but some people use moss. Healthy ground cover involves having a strong root system to help prevent soil erosion when it rains and when planting other vegetation. Since ground cover grows and spreads rather quickly, it is a good idea to leave some areas bare where the grass can expand.

Putting in the ornamental vegetation is the most tedious but the most rewarding part of soft landscaping. Although local flora can live and grow in the local soil condition, certain plants are more suited to a certain conditions rather than others. For example, some plants require moist soil while some grow well in dry ones. With this in mind, some areas of the garden should have a different type of soil other than soil in the surrounding area. This is an added burden but the effects are paid off.

Lastly, including specimen trees in the soft landscaping is recommended. Not only do they look beautiful, but they can also help define the community’s urban landscape. One should not overdo planting trees, however, their size and height will dominate the garden.

A garden makes a home a better place to live in. Choosing the right plants is the first step to make it the ideal home.

Landscaping Contractors

Getting hold of a proficient landscape contractor, one who doesn’t cut a hole in your pocket yet leaves you satisfied with his work is what the investment involves. Be rest assured to see that landscaped lawn of your dreams taking shape in a tailor-made manner and definitely not the typical neighborhood kinds that are such clich├ęs.

Begin with a detailed plan now that you are determined to carry on with this venture. Jot down on a piece of paper all that you have in your mind and categorize them according to your specifications. Prepare yourself for happy days ahead as you see your fondly imagined landscape turning into reality.

Chalk out your budget subsequently. Ask yourself if the creation of your envisioned landscape an achievable task. Or are you required to make a few alterations?

Don’t lose heart. Your position is favorable as you realize your need and are ready to accommodate a few compromises in you plan in case of budget constraints. The best part is that you can negotiate with your landscape contractor once since you are armed with a budget, a plan and a schedule for your landscape makeover. The contractor in turn will guarantee you the best deal in terms of budget and your specific needs.

Its time to opt for your landscape contractor now that you have worked out all details.

  • Ensure what you exactly want out of the landscape contactor and tell him the same. He can help you in numerous ways. In case you prefer working in the garden, you can choose to share the task with him making it more affordable.
  • You should realize in advance your requirements and speak to your professional contractor accordingly. Make him comfortable by putting your trust in his capability and letting him know that.
  • It is wise to acquaint yourself with the company you want to get into a contract with. One way is to ask for photographs or tours of projects they have previously handled for judging their competence level and experience. Seeking references and professional affiliations is another to employ.
  • To make sure that that your contractor is answerable to you, check the legal credentials of the company.
  • Every bit of the contract should be on paper. No verbal commitment holds the value of a legal document.

Outdoor Decorating Tips

  • Porch or Patio: If you already have a porch or patio, simply putting new furniture out can make a wonderful difference in the presentation of your home. Alternatively, you can simply buy new cushions or covers for your existing patio furniture. Other quick patio spruce ups can be as simple as putting out a few flowering potted plants, adding gnomes or statues, or putting a small water fountain into the space.
  • Walkways: Having walkways outside your home add a cozy, homey and inviting feel to the overall outdoor presentation. Just a straight concrete walkway can be spruced up by putting a bit of garden bed edging along each side… putting small solar walkway lights on each side… or planting colorful annual flowers such as petunias on each side. If you don’t already have a walkway and want to create one, I think the prettiest are those made of stone. Add an extra decorative touch by making the walkway curve or wind a bit to your front door instead of leading straight there.
  • Yard ornaments: These can be as simple as a small bird house, a pole mounted outdoor lantern light, or even a wheelbarrow with flowers. Putting a little something extra in your yard defines you and your tastes, plus it gives your home a more unique personality that stands out from your neighbors.
  • Flowers, Plants, Vines & Bushes: Probably the most popular way to spruce up a yard quickly is to simply put out some pretty plants, bushes, vines and flowers. Annuals are great for adding dashes of color quickly, because you can usually buy them this time of year in bloom. To get continuous color and greenery, plant some perrenials too. Then once the annuals are starting to die out, you’ll have something to replace them. You’ll also have the added joy of seeing the perrenials sprout again for several years to come.

Discount Garden Furniture

The typical way to find discount garden furniture is to go to any garden furnishing store and head directly to the clearance section. Once you have made the rounds there, go through the main section of the store and look for “Price Reduced” and “Discount Price” tags. There are some high scale stores that will not advertise “discount garden furniture” even when they have stock, but will simply mark the prices down on the price tags.

Discount garden furniture stores abound and come in all types from specialty stores such as discount teak garden furniture to those which sell a variety of styles from wicker to cedar garden furniture. The key to shopping at discount garden furniture stores is to make sure that the discount is not because of a manufacturing defect that may cause bodily injury or an incomplete set. For example, the hardware that is used to secure garden furniture should be stainless steel to prevent corrosion, but not all manufacturers use this technique. If the hardware is rusted it could lead to furniture breakage.

Unfortunately there are some discount garden furniture retailers who acquire their goods through less-than-desirable means; wood furniture manufactured from areas where deforesting is prohibited is just one example. Especially in the case of teak and cedar, the labels should clearly state the source of the timber.

When a retail item becomes less-than-perfect, the price is reduced and this is another source of goods for discount garden furniture outlets. In many cases it could be a simple as a nick in the paint or a small dent that shaves 20 to 70% off of the original retail price. The same holds true for items with a full price tag; examine the goods carefully and if you find an obvious imperfection, you have a bargaining point that can help you save some money.

Buying discount garden furniture direct from the manufacturer is another option, and probably the best place to ask your questions concerning how to care for the items you are buying from them. The most expensive garden furniture won’t last long if it is not properly maintained. Protect your investment of time, effort and money that you used to find your discount garden furniture by investigating the best way to clean and care for the new addition to your home.

Landscaping Brick

To transform any backyard into a wonderful entertainment area try adding a brick patio. It’s easy for anyone to build. To construct a patio, all you will need is brick and mortar, patience, and some time. You can decide which way to lay them, perhaps in a row all in the same direction. A basket weave design is also another wonderful idea and will give your project a distinctive creative look. To do this you will need to alternate the brick in a vertical and horizontal way, creating a wonderful design in the pattern.

For many years landscape brick materials have become one of the most commonly used items in gardens. You can utilize them to border your flower garden or to build a small retaining wall around your flowerbed. They are also a big support with water gardens. You can use the brick to encase the area around the water, which will add warmth and increased stability to the water feature.

Crushed brick over time will eventually sink into the ground. To help prevent this from happening line the bottom of the walkway with landscape fabric. You can do the basket weave with this idea as well depending on the other features in this area. You will be sure to get many compliments on your design.

Brick is a great way to line flower beds or any areas that do not have an edge by creating wonderful borders. Try using it on high traffic areas where grass has a tendency to wear out. You want to create visual attention to catch peoples’ eyes. The one advantage it has is that it can be laid flat or even stacked, and is easy to mow over to create that clean finished look.

Landscaping brick can be found at just about any building or garden supply center. Old ones found lying around can be cleaned up to look as good as new by using a brush, some soap and water, and a little effort. This is a wonderful way to save money on your project.

Poolside Landscape

The space chosen as the area to build and design a pool is very important and thus, should be chosen carefully keeping in mind the right proportions and the overall area of the house. This spacing and designing again may vary depending on the look and styles such as formal, radical, classical or simple. The materials chosen to use as the border of the pool should be water friendly. The plants and herbs chosen to decorate a poolside landscape are usually the sort that do not grow tall or spread themselves too much. Leaves falling from these branches may make the water dirty and make the cleaning process more difficult. In case of big plants and trees, it is advisable to place them at a considerable distance from the pool water, to keep the water unaffected from leaves or droppings of the birds. Also, the roots of some plants may affect the foundation of the pool border and destroy it.

A poolside landscape can be adorned with plants with glossy leaves, and fixtures of bright colors complementing the blue color of the water to extend a glamorous look to the landscape. Too many flower plants are not recommended to decorate the poolside landscape, as they can attract birds and insects making it dirty and troublesome to clean.

Apart from plants, statues, fountains, wooden benches, swings also provide an exotic look to the landscape. Nevertheless, proper positioning and suitability with space and landscape can be considered to maintain the beauty of it. Various books, online courses, and professional outdoor designers can be found, to help carry out the job.